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Gladiators beat Inferno 3-1

The Gwinnett Gladiators used goals from Jon Awe, Chad Painchaud and Colton Fretter to power past the Columbia Inferno 3-1 on Friday night at the Carolina Coliseum.

The win was the Gladiators' fourth-straight and helped Gwinnett improve to 21-11-4 on the season.

The Gladiators and the Inferno skated to a scoreless tie through the first period as the teams exchanged chances throughout the period. Gwinnett finished the period outshooting the Inferno by an 11-7 margin.

Gwinnett jumped on top of the Inferno on Awe's 18th goal of the season as he ripped a slap shot past Columbia netminder Robert Gherson at the 9:15 mark of the second period.

The power play goal was Awe's 16th power play goal of the season, tying the ECHL record for most power play goals in a season by a defenseman.

Painchaud pushed the Gladiators lead to 2-0 with his 10th goal of the year, as he was parked in the slot wide open and beat Gherson for the tally. Blue Bennefield and Jim Jackson collected the assists on the power play goal for Gwinnett at the 10:09 mark of the second period.

Columbia got on the board in the third as Bryson Busniuk was able to deflect the puck into the air past Gwinnett netminder Dan Turple for the goal 11:18 into the period.

The Inferno could not equalize the contest with the netminder Gherson pulled with less than a minute left in the third period. Gwinnett capitalized as Colton Fretter posted an empty-net goal with 11 seconds left in the game for his 23rd goal of the year.

Turple made 29 saves for the Gladiators for his fourth consecutive win.

Gwinnett went 2-for-5 on the power play in the win as the Gladiators remain in the top spot on the power play in the ECHL.